Going into a sales meeting cold isn't ideal, even if you're an experienced SDR. There are too many missteps you can make when you leave things to chance, including upsetting your prospect with elementary questions that sour the relationship.

Sales

12 Top Tips To Research Your Prospects

Going into a sales meeting cold isn't ideal, even if you're an experienced SDR. There are too many missteps you can make when you leave things to chance, including upsetting your prospect with elementary questions that sour the relationship.

When you don't have the correct information, you: 

  • Miss out on opportunities to build rapport
  • Potentially waste your prospect's time
  • Run the risk of saying the wrong thing
  • Lack details you need to steer the meeting toward a deal

Cold outreach is difficult enough, so don't make it harder for yourself. Before you do any outreach, spend a little time gathering information about your prospect and their company.

Here are 12 top tips for researching your prospect before your cold outreach.

We've split them into two categories, with tips to get info on:

  1. Your prospects
  2. Your prospects’ company.

Tips for researching your prospect

#1. A simple Google search 

A Google search is one of the best ways to research a cold outreach prospect. You can learn a lot about who they are and what is important to them. 

Of course, while many people have personal information “out there”, that’s not to say it’s all fair game. Your cold outreach could take an uncomfortable call if you've delved so deep into their past that they suspect you're stalking them.

So keep it business level and professional. Not even Don Draper could rescue a sales meeting after such an accusation.

#2. Read their LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a treasure trove of professional information. Obviously, it's a fantastic tool for prospecting, but it can also provide you with valuable research materials once you’ve identified the right target.

Check out your prospect's experience in their current and former positions and look through the list of contacts you have in common. Any of that information can provide an excellent jumping-off point for a discussion.

Additionally, see what groups they're in and read what they’ve been posting about recently. You might uncover something you can use to grab their interest.

#3. Check their Twitter

Go to your buyer's Twitter page to get a sense of the things that interest them. They may have tweeted about particular professional frustrations or shared articles on related topics. Either situation could turn up some helpful talking points.

Again, use any information you find carefully. Telling a buyer that you noticed they tweeted about something seven years ago will be more frightening than engaging.

#4. Look through Quora, Reddit, and other social platforms

Many people use places like Quora, Reddit, or other social media platforms to find answers or seek help for problems. If your prospect is actively seeking help for a professional issue, and you have the solution, your cold outreach could quickly turn warm.

Accessing this information can help you formulate a tailor-made pitch for their problem. So don’t skip this step.

Tips for researching your prospect's company 

#5. Google their business

The information contained on a company website is highly curated. However, you can get a glimpse under the hood when you Google a company's name.

Googling a business can give you an insight into problems they're facing and their plans for the future. Additionally, it will also enhance your knowledge of their industry. 

Cold outreach can hinge on the smallest piece of information, so don't miss out because you didn't do your research.

#6. Check their Twitter account

A Twitter account can tell you a lot about the values of a business. Seeing what's important to an organisation and how they speak to their customers can give you a feel for how you should show up to your sales call.

You can use a company Twitter account to calibrate the tone of your outreach. These little clues can make a big difference to your approach.

#7. Check them out on CrunchBase

While CrunchBase started as a website to track startups, it now lists information about public and private companies. It's a great source of information, with categories for employees, finances, tech the business uses, plus news and industry trends. 

It's a fantastic tool for doing a little homework on business before cold outreach.

#8. Read their press releases

Press releases are a great source of company information. They can provide clues about where a business is at, its future plans, and any new appointments.

Being on top of company news can help your outreach efforts. At a minimum, it shows that you've taken the time to research them. In many cases, it can help you understand a lot about what’s happening in the business, which you can leverage in your sales outreach.

#9. Read their competitor's press released

Understanding your prospects competitor's is essential too. If they're losing market share to rival companies, or you sense a weakness that your solutions can exploit, you can use it to your advantage.

PR and other media releases will help you understand your buyer's market position. That information can prove helpful during a sales discussion.

#10. Use tools that can tell you what tools your prospects use

Cold outreach becomes easier when you know your prospect's software stack. There are a few great sales software tools that can give any SDR an edge in their cold meeting, such as:

  • Datanyze
  • DataFox
  • SimilarTech

When you know your prospect's current workflow, you'll be able to make more effective recommendations. For example, if you are familiar with particular software — and its weaknesses — you can make that a focus of your call. 

#11. Have a look at the businesses finances

Publicly listed companies have to publish financial statements. These documents can give you incredible insight into how the company is making or losing money. 

Depending on the detail, you might even be able to get ideas about their budget. Again, all this information is about giving you context to help your cold outreach result in better conversations.

#12. Read their Glassdoor reviews

As the name implies, Glassdoor gives you a look inside a company. There is so much interesting data that you can gather about company culture, goals, and past success and failure.

Additionally, because employees post anonymously about their experience at the business, you can often pick up some interesting information. Did some employees leave because they felt existing tools were inadequate or outdated? That could mean an opportunity for your business.

Conclusion

Prospecting takes a lot of time and effort. So don’t waste that investment by going into cold outreach empty-handed. Taking time to research your prospect and their company will make your calls more precise and engaging. 

By learning more about a business, you’ll be in a better place to understand its pain points and goals. From there, you can tell your prospects how your solution can solve their problems.

At trumpet, we believe sales teams should strive to create the best environment for their customers. Learn more about how our personalised sales software can boost your cold outreach today!

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